Project Based Learning

What is Project Based Learning (PBL)?

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. In Gold Standard PBL, projects are focused on student learning goals and include Essential Project Design Elements:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills – The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, communication, collaboration, and self-management.
  • Challenging Problem or Question – The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
  • Sustained Inquiry – Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
  • Authenticity – The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
  • Student Voice & Choice – Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
  • Reflection – Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Critique & Revision – Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
  • Public ProductStudents make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

The above definition is drawn from the Buck Institute:

Project Based Learning and the DSISD Competencies
Project based learning is rooted in a compelling topic and driving question that is in alignment with our DSISD Competencies. DSISD Competencies will be used in our planning process to ensure that over a student’s DSISD career, they are exposed to projects that build capacity in the qualities and dispositions of innovators.

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Read Strategically & Write Effectively

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Critically Analyze the Past & Present World

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Solve Mathematically

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Investigate Scientifically

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Develop Habits of Success

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Design My Future

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Practice Local & Global Social Responsibility

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Be Healthy

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Creatively Express Myself

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Design with Empathy

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Communicate & Collaborate

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Explore the World & Apply my Learning

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Invest in Others

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Lead for Social Justice

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Be Professional

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Generate Solutions